If you’re just starting out in tennis, you may not realise the importance of grip size. A lot of research has been carried out in this area over the years, and what we have found is that different grip sizes make people susceptible to different injuries. In this blog, we’re going to look at the effects grip size can have on performance and injury, and how to choose the right size for you.
Grip is used to adjust the angle at which your racquet will come in contact with the ball. Serious players will change grips during the match depending on whether they are using serves, volleys, backhands etc.
Larger grip sizes are better used for shots that require more force, like a smash, but will limit the manoeuvrability of the wrist. This means you will absorb more shock, and will have less control over the ball, which puts more pressure on the muscles & tendons in your wrist & elbow. Smaller grips allow greater freedom of movement, but require the player to get a tighter hold on the racquet in order to generate the same amount of force. Over time, this can lead to overuse injuries in the wrist.
One of the most important steps in avoiding these types of injuries is to make sure you buy the right grip size to begin with. When buying a racquet, there is a simple test you can do to see if it has the correct grip size for you, rather than simply picking what feels comfortable. Start by holding the racquet with the Eastern Grip, the slide your index finger in between your palm and ringer finger. The better the finger fits, the better the grip size is for you. If you are stuck choosing between two sizes, it is usually better to opt for the smaller one, as you can always add extra grip to increase the size.
There is an array of grip sizes out there to help you perfect your performance, but getting the size right from the get-go is the most effective way to improve your game and minimise your risk of injury. As you progress and improve, you will begin to get a natural feel for which grip suits which shot better.